A good thing about having a lightly read blog is that in mentioning a place you like to visit, you have zero impact on its existence. No queue creating here! Besides, Streecha is already well-known enough, so it's not exactly news to talk about it. Still, at a time of day when lines are forming for overpriced brunch all around it, it's good to drop by for a quiet $7 meal: sausage & sauerkraut, a chunk of honey cake, & coffee. Food is served canteen-style, & proceeds go to help the Ukrainian church across the street. It's open three days a week. When I first got in there were maybe half a dozen others, sitting far apart at the plastic-covered trestle tables. The crowd was mostly middle-aged, and mostly the diners ate alone. A trio of tourists sat at the next table - quiet, understated types who kept to themselves & made no fuss. A couple of young people manned the counter. Every so often an elderly, white-aproned, white-haired woman emerged from the kitchen and scanned the room a bit anxiously. She reminded me of my mother. It was the apron & the hair, but also the sweet, open face, untouched by make-up, and a posture of domestic exhaustion. And that look of worry. She was as saintly a presence as the figure on the wall above her.
After a while, when I was down to the last crumbs of cake, a crowd of parents & kids burst in. The fair-haired children carried eggs & baskets & were a little giddy. Talk got louder, & bounced between Ukrainean & English, with the parents speaking only in their native tongue and the children using both. The place had been hushed until now, but it was great to experience it this way too: full of life, & laughter & family silliness. The kids looked a bit like my own English-Polish pair when they were little.
It's seems like a miracle that somewhere so nice as Streecha is still operating.